WGXC-90.7 FM

Affordable housing group looking at school building

Jan 13, 2023 12:30 am

Diane Valden reports for The Columbia Paper that a representative of RUPCO, the Rural Ulster Preservation Company, recently toured the old Roe Jan School in Copake to consider for possible housing. The main Roe Jan building was built in 1932 and has more than 97,000 square feet of space on 39.3 acres of land. The building has been vacant since 1999, when the Taconic Hills School District moved its students to a new K-12 campus on County Route 11A in Craryville. Ancram Town Board member Bonnie Hundt, a member of the Roe Jan Workforce Housing Task Force, said she contacted RUPCO about the availability of the old school and to get their assessment of its possibilities. Hundt said the nonprofit “seemed to be quite interested” in the Roe Jan building which has extensive grounds, noting the organization prefers “rehabbing as opposed to building new.” Board member Amy Gold, who went on the tour with the representative, said that the original intent was to assess the building for workforce housing. She said though the building “is in terrible disrepair” and much of it would have to be torn down, the representative thought there were elements of it that could be salvaged to maintain its historical designation. Gold said the RUPCO rep said "he could see it as a multi-use project with senior housing, affordable housing, a community center and shops." Hundt said at this point the Roe Jan Task Force is just gathering information and is awaiting final word from RUPCO about whether a housing project at the old school is something the non-profit wants to pursue. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.

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